August 19 rally gathers pace


By Melanie Sjoberg

ADELAIDE — Plans for the national day of action on August 19 are well under way here with an organising committee comprising most unions, as well as involvement from the South Australian Education Network.

The rally theme, "For a Fair and Just Community ... Stop the Attacks", will ensure that the day is seen as a broad protest against the Howard government's budget. Cuts to jobs, programs, health, education and social services are all being emphasised.

Several unions are calling for their members to stop work for two hours to attend the rally at Victoria Square.

As part of its 15% wage claim, the CPSU/PSA will propose the two-hour stoppage to mass meetings of members on July 18. The ANF is calling for a two-hour stoppage and a ban on elective surgery for the day. The PTU is hoping to provide free public transport to the rally, and the fire and ambulance services are planning to circle the city with emergency vehicles.

A meeting of the Keep Telstra Public Campaign has also discussed participating in the actions. CPSU/PSA is conducting half-hour lunch-time training sessions at work sites to raise awareness about the IR legislation and to build the rally.

The CPSU (PSU group), MUA and SDA are also organising buses to take members to the national rally in Canberra on August 19.